The Future of Retail in the Mixed-Used Industry

Multi-Housing News, a provider of in-depth news and analysis shaping the multi-housing industry, recently interviewed Tom Stockdale, Director of Commercial Asset Management for The Beach Company, for an article about the future of retail for mixed-use markets.

  1. Retail is struggling in many U.S. markets because of the pandemic. Are multifamily property owners/operators rethinking what uses to lease for their existing ground floor retail?

Certain uses like beauty salons, fitness studios and specialty boutiques are a natural pairing between multifamily and retail because they complement the live-play experience. Multifamily property owners are still seeking these high-quality retail uses to best serve their mixed-use communities. Margins are lower because foot traffic is down, and maintenance and new sanitation protocols add a new level of awareness and typically increase costs for tenants. At present, some mixed-use landlords are being flexible with shorter term deals for retail tenants to ensure they can cover debt services and partner distributions.

While some retail uses and concepts are seeing a decrease in patrons compared to last year, The Beach Company would not shy away from leasing spaces to established retailers or restauranters with a successful business model and proven track record.

  1. What are some fairly recent examples of retail uses that are working in a multifamily property?

Retail owners typically find great success at mixed-use communities because of the onsite tenant population and heavy foot traffic. For example, Sola Station at Canalside, The Beach Co.’s mixed-use development in Columbia, S.C., has more than 700 residents, making the community an ideal location for retailers.

Located at Sola Station at Canalside, near the Columbia Canal and Congaree River, The Front Coffee and Tap successfully opened in May 2020 as the mixed-used development’s first commercial tenant.

The Front is safely providing outdoor seating and to-go services and enforcing social distancing rules for its customers. The restaurant’s successful opening demonstrates the area’s great potential, and we look forward to welcoming The Front’s retail neighbors in the future.

  1. As a developer, are you reconsidering adding mixed uses to future residential projects? Are there plans to maintain current spaces for office and retail leasing in recent projects or those under construction now?

The Beach Company is currently developing several mixed-use projects across the Southeast, including Canvas Lofts in Greenville, S.C., The Jasper in Charleston, S.C., and River Rock in Chattanooga, Tenn. Each of our ongoing developments will include retail and/or office components.

Our multifamily projects’ amenities paired with the retail experience give us an advantage over apartments and condos built only for residential purposes, because our projects create a sense of community for our tenants to identify with.

The Jasper was designed to seamlessly blend the most desirable views on the peninsula with state-of-the-art amenities to set the new standard for luxury living in Charleston. The designated square footage for The Jasper’s retail and office spaces has not changed following the pandemic, and we look forward to welcoming The Jasper’s tenants in the upcoming months.

Offering Charleston’s only waterfront retail experience, The Jasper’s ground floor will feature a curated mix of retail options, including shopping, services and dining experiences with outdoor seating, walkways and parks to create a distinct and safe gathering space for residents, business professionals and the surrounding community.

The full-service office spaces are located on the second through sixth floors of The Jasper, offering the finest combination of historic downtown, water views and premium-level finishes. The offices also offer touch-free, controlled access entry as well as touch-free bathroom fixtures, electric car charging stations and a parcel room for package storage.

The Beach Company is focused on developing high-quality projects that ensure long-term success within its market.


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